Taner Swinea knows from experience that getting involved and making connections are vital elements to finding a future career. However, even though Swinea is a senior finance and accounting double major, he had a different idea of who he would be when he first attended UT Martin.
“The decision, really, was made for me the minute I stepped on campus. I really felt at home ever since the first time I came here. And the love I had for UT Martin when I arrived here never went away,” Swinea said of his freshman year at UT Martin.
He knew he had chosen the right school, but the same could not be said for his major. Swinea originally entered his freshman year as a biology major, but it did not take him long to discover that it was not a great fit for him. As he began reevaluating what field he wanted to study, Swinea contacted the Student Success Center for guidance about what he should do next.
Through Student Success Center, Swinea was able to take career aptitude tests that showed that he might have an interest in studying business and finance. Swinea admitted that he was nervous about majoring in accounting and finance because he had heard accounting was a difficult major, but as soon as he got started into the program, he realized that it was a great fit.
Now, a senior, Swinea is the current president of The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) on campus.
Swinea said of his IMA experience, “This is actually really dear to my heart because we go to a leadership conference every year. This past year, it was in San Antonio and I actually landed an interview with a company that led to an internship, which has since led to a job."
Though Swinea discovered his dream profession, he wished that he had taken the general studies course his freshman year so that he would have had some insight into what he would enjoy studying sooner. So, to make sure that new students did not find themselves confused about what they want to be, Swinea became a PEP leader. PEP leaders are peer counselors who help mentor new students.
Swinea hopes to one day be an accountant for a Fortune 500 company, and along the way, he hopes to help motivate students to discover and follow their passions.